Twitter banned British conspiracy theorist David Icke after he posted misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic on the social media platform. According to the BBC, Icke broke the website’s rules regarding posting misleading information.
“The account referenced has been permanently suspended for violating Twitter’s rules regarding COVID misinformation,” a spokesperson from Twitter explained.
Icke attacked high-profile figures in both the U.S. and the U.K. in recent months, including infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, philanthropist Bill Gates and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The 68-year-old, who had 382,000 followers on Twitter, also claimed that 5G mobile networks helped to spread the novel coronavirus. He also accused a Jewish group of being involved in the spread of the disease.
Icke has been promoting fringe conspiracy theories since the 1990s, but the 68-year-old’s theories about the pandemic saw his popularity rise in 2020.
Although Twitter does not have protocols for spreading unverified information in general terms, they introduced new protocols in July to remove posts that were “claims of fact, demonstrably false or misleading, and likely to cause harm” in relation to posts about the novel coronavirus.
The Center for Countering Digital Hate, a U.K.-based campaign group, suggested that the action taken against Icke was overdue. The group posted a tweet criticizing the site for the inaction against Icke.
“Twitter had allowed him to continue spreading… dangerous Covid misinformation for months.”
Icke caused a stir earlier in 2020 when he appeared on a local television show London Live, which is part of a segment on ITV, and purportedly made false claims about the novel coronavirus.
The BBC reported that British broadcasting regulator Ofcom issued a warning to ITV as Icke “expressed views which had the potential to cause significant harm to viewers in London during the pandemic.”
Icke’s Facebook and Youtube accounts were also suspended permanently in May 2020 for violating similar regulations on posting false information.
Twitter recently blocked another conspiracy theorist, Kate Shemirani. Her account was taken offline on Thursday, October 29 after she broke the website’s rules on sharing unverified detail about the virus when she posted views about anti-vaccination.
The Inquisitr has previously reported on the topic of misleading posts on Twitter recently in the U.S. 2020 presidential election after an edited video circulated on the social media site showing Joe Biden mixing up the states where he was rallying. The video received over 1 million views before it was eventually removed and tagged as “manipulated media” by Twitter.